Anne is the current President of the Connecticut Psychological Association. She has been a member of CPA since 2006, but started to get involved in the organization four years ago serving as the Federal Advocacy Coordinator. She has experience working in other professional organizations as a past President of Psychologists in Public Service (Division 18) of the American Psychological Association (APA), current APA Council Representative for Division 18, and the Chair-elect for the APA Public Interest Caucus. Regionally, she is a member of the CT State Innovation Model Practice Transformation Task Force and serves locally on her town human services commission.
Dr. Klee received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University, her graduate degree from Yeshiva University and completed predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships at the Yale University School of Medicine. For the past 15 years, she has worked at the Errera Community Care Center of VA Connecticut Healthcare where she is the Director of the Interprofessional Fellowship in Psychosocial Rehabilitation and the Director of Peer Services. Over the past several years, she has co-authored several clinical grants including one to establish the Wellness Center at the Errera Community Care Center with the mission of providing individualized health promotion services to individuals with serious mental illnesses. In addition, she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry of the Yale School of Medicine.
In all, she is devoted to training and supporting the work of peer specialists, developing quality, recovery-oriented programs for individuals with SMI, training the next generation of clinicians in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation, and engaging them in careers in public mental health.
Jennifer Doran, Ph.D.,
Jennifer Doran, Ph.D. currently serves as the President-Elect of the Connecticut Psychological Association. She has been actively involved in CPA, serving on the Membership Committee and as the 2019 Chair of Communications. Dr. Doran is a former Chair of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students and has been active in APA as part of this role as well as an early career psychologist leader. Most recently she served as the Co-Chair of the Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Service) Policy and Advocacy Committee and as a Member-at-Large on the Division 31 (SPTA Affairs) Board of Directors.
Dr. Doran received her doctoral degree from The New School for Social Research in New York City before moving to Connecticut for her internship at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, where she specialized in PTSD and general outpatient mental health. She completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at VA Connecticut’s National Center for PTSD and Yale School of Medicine, where she investigated both the merits and limitations of specialty PTSD treatments. Dr. Doran currently works as the Associate Director for Mental Health at the VA VISN 1 Clinical Resource Hub, based out of VA Connecticut, a telehealth hub that provides clinical services to veterans in underserved rural communities throughout the New England region. Dr. Doran is presently an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. She is actively involved in psychology education and training both locally and nationally.
Dr. Doran’s clinical areas of expertise are assessment, trauma/PTSD, veteran mental health, principle-based psychotherapy, and general outpatient mental health. Research interests include psychotherapy process and outcome, assessment, intervention effectiveness and evidence-based treatment, as well as psychology education and training issues. She is an active advocate for the profession and is passionate about improving mental health access, providing high-quality mental health treatment, clinical supervision and training the next generation of psychologists, elevating psychology as a science and using psychology to develop and inform policy, promoting and supporting social justice and diversity initiatives, and championing graduate student and early career issues.
Meghan is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Glastonbury. In 2011, she returned to her home state from Chicago, where she graduated from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Her areas of clinical interest include working with infant and early childhood mental health, children and families. Prior to private practice, she trained and worked in community mental health and participated in The National Health Service Corp.
Working with diverse, underserved, and multi-stressed communities shaped her understanding of psychology and interest in trauma and attachment work. In past administrative roles, she has partnered with medical providers and elementary schools to enhance mental health services; and connected graduate students to local community agencies for service learning projects. Involvement in these community programs at the clinical and administrative levels has fortified her value of collaboration with community figures, belief in the importance of interventions at the systemic level, and desire to promote social justice and mental health awareness. It is with these experiences, skills, and values that she hopes to contribute to the goals and mission of CPA.
For 2016 and 2017, she served the CPA Board of Directors as Early Career Representative where she developed infrastructure for the position with both short term and long term goals for engaging the ECP community. By enhancing communication and recognition of ECPs, she aimed to recruit new licensed providers to participate in CPA projects and legislative advocacy. Additionally, she contributed to major board projects including enhancing Continuing Education events, exploring prescription privileges, and modernizing CPA’s presence through the development of a new website. Currently, she serves as Secretary to the Board and on the Membership Committee with the goal of expanding our reach to local psychologists through membership growth.
Meghan is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Glastonbury. In 2011, she returned to her home state from Chicago, where she graduated from
Mark Spellmann, PhD
Dr. Spellmann is a clinical psychologist with over 25 years of direct clinical practice experience. He received his PhD. from Yeshiva University in Clinical Psychology, and an M.A. and M.Ed. from Teachers College, Columbia University in Psychology. He completed three years of postgraduate training at the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy. He has provided clinical training through teaching and supervision programs in hospital and private practice settings.
Dr Spellmann has served as both full-time and adjunct faculty member at NYU and CUNY, and has taught courses in psychology, research methodology and statistics.
Dr Spellmann also has extensive experience as a research psychologist in the area of social policy for children, teens and seniors. He held an appointment as a Senior Research Scientist at New York University for over 10 years. He was the Principal Investigator (PI) on a 10-year federally funded outcome study of Early Head Start, a new federal program that extends Head Start to children in the 0-3 age range; and was also the PI on a three-year social and cognitive development outcome study in Head Start agencies on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He was the Research Director at NYU of the New York City arm of a multi-site CDC funded five-year outcome study of innovative school and community violence reduction programs. He has conducted a range of outcome evaluation studies on character development programs in New York City public schools, in partnership with the Leadership Program and with Creative Connections.
Dr. Spellmann also has an extensive background in health communications. He was director of Research and Insights at Unit 7, an Omnicom communications agency, for five years. His research and work on interventions to improve health behaviors cover a wide range of chronic medical conditions including ADHD, chronic pain, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, HIV, migraine, late stage cancer, orthopedics, PTSD, eating disorders, gastrointestinal pathology and sexual functioning.
Dr. Spellmann’s license as a psychologist in Connecticut is # 3152, and # 068120 in the State of New York. His NPI # is 1710244017.
Too Cool For School
Elizabeth is proud to advocate for legislative issues for advances in psychology at the federal level. Moreover, she is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about the mission and goals of CPA. She has served on the CPA board in various capacities for over 10 years. Previously, she served as Secretary on the executive board, Early Career Representative previous from 2005 – 2007 and before that time, she served as the CPA student advocacy fellow, where she facilitated state and federal legislative issues relevant to Connecticut Psychologists and their clients. In addition, she served as the student CPA board member from 2006 – 2009, where she helped organize and spearhead multiple community events, seminars and workshops that focused on acknowledging efforts and raising funds for mental health needs and issues in CT and nationally.
Collectively, these experiences provided her a rare opportunity as a future psychologist. She has over 15 years of clinical experience in various mental health service agencies as a therapist, and she just recently began private practice and has offices in New Haven and Westport. Previously, she spent over 5 years at Yale Stress Center, where she conducted individual and group therapy focused on addictive behaviors, disordered eating, mindfulness, and stress reduction. Her specific clinical interests include evaluation and treatment of disordered eating, addictive behaviors, stress, trauma, and health psychology. She looks forward to using clinical expertise, passion for psychology, past CPA experience, and strong interpersonal skills toward supporting CPA governance, members, and contributing to the guild in the state of CT and nationally.
Dr. Kane began her college career at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, but quickly realized that she wanted to be relocated closer to home. Dr. Kane graduated from Central Connecticut State University in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology; and, then she immediately pursued her graduate degree at the New School for Social Research in New York City (now called the New School University) receiving a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2000.
Her first professional job once she completed her doctorate in psychology was as a Mental Health Clinician at Waterbury Hospital Crisis Assessment and Triage Center. She was responsible for evaluating all of the patients who entered the hospital in crisis. By 2001, she decided to specialize in children and families. To that end, she accepted a position with the North American Family Institute’s Multisystemic Therapy Program in Waterbury and Wethersfield. Then, Dr. Kane became a supervisor and discovered her passion for training other professionals. She was limited working with 20 or 30 clients at a time and felt that she could make a greater impact by training staff.
This work experience led to a Director position – Director of Clinical Services for the North American Family Institute – in Connecticut, where she was responsible for the implementation of clinical services throughout the state. Finally in 2003, she joined Wheeler Clinic where Dr. Kane was responsible for managing the community-based programming for children and their families. Dr. Kane left Wheeler Clinic in 2006 and became the Director of Home-Based Treatment Services at the Child Guidance Clinic of Greater Waterbury (now called Wellmore), and in 2008, was made their Chief Operating Officer. Currently, Dr. Kane is the Vice-President of Child Services for Wellmore Behavioral Health which operates 11 sites throughout the Northwest region of CT.
Wellmore displays a strong commitment to community mental health, implementing over a dozen evidence-based models of care across their full continuum of behavioral health and substance abuse services. Wellmore has about 280 employees, with almost 200 of whom working in the Child Services Division. Wellmore offers a full continuum of care and in addition to providing outpatient therapy, crisis intervention services, prevention and early intervention, adult substance abuse, residential care programs and home-based programming.
In addition to her primary employment as a psychologist, Dr. Kane enjoys teaching part-time in the Psychology Department at the University of Connecticut in Waterbury in higher education and serving her community and the profession of Psychology through her appointments on several Boards and Commissions. Dr. Marcy Kane is a proud parent to Aidan and Deana.
Jennifer is a board certified clinical health psychologist. She has worked at Hartford Hospital/The Institute of Living for 12 years and is currently the program manager of the Division of Health Psychology. She also has a small private practice in Glastonbury.
Her current clinical interests and responsibilities are in primary care psychology, pain management and health behavior change. She completed her training in CT and is aware of issues facing those practicing in our state. She is also active as a clinical supervisor and is aware of issues relevant for trainees and early career psychologists. As a health psychologist, she is committed to health care reform and advocating for psychologists in primary care and other integrated care settings.
Sharif Okasha, Psy.D.,
Region 2 Representative
Sharif Okasha is a graduate from the California School of Professional Psychology where he earned his doctorate in clinical psychology. As an undergraduate, he earned a B.A. in Psychology from Boston College. Dr. Okasha joined CPA in 2015 and recently joined the board of directors as the region 2 representative. He has been providing therapeutic and assessment services for the past 15 years, and joined Comprehensive Psychiatric Care in September of 2014. He is an experienced play therapist, and has worked successfully with many children in this modality. With teens and adults, he works primarily from a psychodynamic model, which focuses on developing self awareness and understanding of one’s emotional life as a means for greater satisfaction in relationships.
Stephanie was born in the Northeast, obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Fairfield University, and moved out West to San Diego for graduate school where she remained until 2016. When she returned to CT, she was licensed as a psychologist in February 2017. She initially worked for Wheeler Clinic in adolescent assessment for the Courts and DCF. She has since joined the Comprehensive Neuropsychological Services, where she conducts neuropsychological examinations for children, adolescents, and adults. Her area of expertise/interest is in assessment and evaluation, and she conducts all types of forensic, clinical, and neuropsychological evaluation, although she has also done both long-term individual and group therapy.
Since becoming licensed as a psychologist in CT, she has been seeking ways to become involved in the psychological community. After attending the yearly CPA conference, she was delighted to meet many of the psychologists in the state and to witness the supportive and welcoming nature of everyone. As Region 3 Representative, she would like to work to continue the collegial atmosphere through additional regional professional meetings, both informally and formally, on a more regular basis. She is honored to serve on the Board of Directors in this capacity.
Ralph is a psychologist in private practice in Westport and serves on the CPA Board as the Region 4 representative (Fairfield County). He does office-based psychotherapy with older adolescents and adults and conduct substance abuse evaluations with adults and adolescents for determination of possible treatment and level of care needs. He also does forensic evaluations for various Courts in the child protection, juvenile justice, and adult criminal realms.
Heather Paluso, Ph.D, has been a licensed Psychologist in Connecticut since 2004. She is currently the Director of Outcomes and Compliance for Community Mental Health Affiliates, a private, non-profit organization that serves children, adolescents, and adults throughout Central and Northwestern CT and is the first Joint Commission accredited Behavioral Health Home in Connecticut.
Her role at CMHA includes coordinating Performance Improvement activities with a focus on use of data informed planning and improving behavioral and physical health outcomes for our clients. In addition, she is the CMHA site Director for the Hartford Consortium Internship, an APA approved Internship Program.
She wishes to represent Region 5 and connect to Psychologists in the area to further professional goals and connect with colleagues. As Psychologists, it is important to stay connected to colleagues and work together on issues of mutual importance. She would like to provide opportunities for Psychologists in Region 5 to come together to get to know each other and discover opportunities for collaboration within CPA.
Dr. Maysa received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Saint Louis University in 2003. She completed her pre-and-post doctoral work at the Yale Child Study Center, School of Medicine. She is the only Board Certified Child and Adolescent Psychologist who lives and works in CT and holds a number of certifications in various areas of treatment. Dr. Akbar is also an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center.
Over her 15 years of clinical experience, Dr. Akbar has developed a specialty in racial trauma, focusing on at-risk children and families who live in inner-city hubs. She has a great passion for treating underserved populations, particularly diverse populations and at-risk, juvenile justice involved youth. Dr. Akbar uses her collective training and experience as the foundational competencies to urban trauma treatment, allowing the process to be collaborative and inherently respectful. Her interest in diversity, multicultural competence, and minority mental health led her to the West Indies to receive international training at the University of West Indies and the University of the West Indies Hospital in Jamaica. During her minority, international research training Dr. Akbar developed assessment tools to measure the self-esteem, stress, and trauma symptoms in children and adolescents of color. Since her youth, it was always Dr. Akbar’s life’s mission to work with underprivileged and disenfranchised populations. She dedicated herself to establishing an organization that holds communities of color as a priority. In 2008, Dr. Akbar founded Integrated Wellness Group (IWG), a diverse, multidisciplinary psychotherapy practice rooted in New Haven, CT. Since its inception, IWG is one of the fastest growing for-profit mental health practices in the northern Connecticut region.
In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Akbar’s background includes years of experience in cutting edge research endeavors. She has been published in a variety of professional journals including Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, The Western Journal of Black Studies, and the Journal of Black Psychology. Additionally, Dr. Akbar has been a featured writer in the Boston area bilingual magazine Salud y Familia (Health and Family); she has also written several op-eds. Dr. Akbar is well respected for her exceptional achievement in Psychology and business. In fact, she was recently select as a recipient for the American Psychological Association’s Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology. Dr. Akbar has been recognized by Who’s Who in America and was awarded the Alumni Merit Award from Saint Louis University.
She has completed leadership development training in both the Community Leadership Program and Neighborhood Leadership Program. Dr. Akbar’s work has been acknowledged by the Connecticut State Assembly, and the cities of New Haven, Hamden, and West Haven. Dr. Akbar also received the 2014 Hispanicize Positive Impact Award. She carries both minority- and women- owner business certification and has successfully completed the TUCK- Dartmouth and Kellogg-Northwestern Executive Leadership Programs. Dr. Akbar is a leader and a change agent who has debuted her book, Urban Trauma: Legacy of Racism, on Oct. 3, 2017, that quickly became a best seller in four categories.
She currently resides in New Haven with her husband of almost 20 years Rahsaan, and is the proud mom of two fantastic children, Rahsaan Jr. and Kalilah.
Darius is an early career psychologist and behavioral health director of a federally qualified health center in Danbury, CT. Dr. Fathi provides psychological services and manages a team of four social workers and a psychiatrist, in an interdisciplinary primary care setting. Here, he also works on the front lines addressing the opioid crisis and partnered with physicians and nurse practitioners at his practice to develop an outpatient suboxone treatment program for adults with opiate addiction. He also works part-time in a group private practice in Darien, where he works with teens, adults and couples.
Dr. Fathi is a CT resident with a strong interest in promoting psychology advocacy throughout our state. He is very passionate about the politics of psychology, increasing access to mental health services, and public outreach. His mission as an Early Career Representative is to represent the voice of early career psychologists in CT and advocate with the CPA for the rights and interests of our profession.
His action items and interests include: Promoting psychology education, awareness, and increasing access to services; Addressing the Opioid Epidemic; Earlier eligibility for doctoral trainees in CT to take the EPPP exam; Increasing CPA membership, collaboration, and participation; RxP – supporting prescription privileges for trained psychologists.
Also Too Cool.
Nana Marfo is a 3rd year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at the University of Connecticut. She received her Bachelor’s of Philosophy degree from the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Psychology and a minor in Brazilian Portuguese. Prior to entering her graduate program, Nana served with AmeriCorps for two years as a Program Coordinator for the Youth and Collegiate Health Service Corps programs in Waterbury, CT. This experience as well as her background in psychology inspired her to pursue a public health-informed career in clinical psychology.
Nana’s research interests include interdisciplinary approaches to reducing health disparities, increasing access to mental health services for underrepresented populations, and affecting health policy to make population health more equitable. She is a student affiliate at the University of Connecticut’s Institute for Collaboration on Health Intervention and Prevention (InCHIP), a member of the UConn’s Interprofessional Student Advisory Committee (ISAC), a 2017 Ethnic Diversity Taskforce (EDTF) scholarship recipient, and a new member of CPA. Overall, Nana strongly values working across disciplines to improve and optimize quality of life for all.
Nadika Paranamana, M.A.,
Nadika Paranamana, M.A., is a Doctoral Candidate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Hartford and a Clinical Trainee at Yale School of Medicine. Her clinical experiences span across local and international populations afflicted by trauma, PTSD, and serious mental illnesses. Nadi contributes as a trainee clinical provider at the Yale Street Psychiatry Program which provides outreach psychiatric services to homeless populations. In addition, she conducts research on minority and immigrant mental health, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and phenomenological psychopathology. She also serves as an editorial board member for the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Nadi is a member of American Psychological Association’s Immigration Work Group and the Global Psychosocial Network (GPN) where she makes contributions on multicultural competency, psychosocial program development, and post-crises reconciliation to advocate for immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and other displaced persons. Nadi has been an active proponent of social justice advocacy since the beginning of her psychology career and currently serves as the Chair of the Advocacy Coordinating Team for American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS). She’s a three-time recipient of CPA’s Ethnic Diversity Task Force (EDTF) Scholarship and University of Hartford’s Diversity Fellowship. In 2018, Nadi received the prestigious Program Excellence and Service Award from University of Hartford and the Outstanding Student of Psychology Award from Connecticut Psychological Association. She remains deeply committed to serving and advocating for underserved populations and promoting the importance of advocacy among students of psychology.
Kathleen has been practicing psychology since 1997 in a variety of treatment settings and currently has a part time private practice. For the past 18 years she has worked full time for River Valley Services (RVS), a DMHAS operated community mental health center and currently direct the facility’s Quality Improvement program. She works as part of team to ensure that clients receive services informed by best practice and incorporates measurement to monitor quality and effectiveness. Additionally she has been a supervisor for the recently closed Pre-Doctoral Psychology Internship at RVS.
She has been fortunate to work as supervisor and co-investigator for many intern research projects that relate to the public interest. Currently, she has worked to implement best practices in suicide assessment and interventions at RVS, and throughout the state. As part of that effort she is working with CPA, CTNASW, CTAMFT, CCSU and DMHAS to develop a curriculum to train Connecticut mental health practitioners in suicide prevention. Dr. Chapman also serves on the CPA Legislative Committee. She is deeply committed to Psychology as a profession and to addressing public issues including suicide, addiction, stigma, issues facing the disenfranchised and the mentally ill, and access to effective treatment.
Stuart is a licensed Clinical Psychologist in Hamden, CT. Dr. Sokol works with adults and adolescents, specializing in treating anxiety disorders and stress-related problems. He has worked for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and has an extensive background in forensic psychology, and he has served as an Adjunct Clinical Faculty member for the Psychiatry Department at Yale University School of Medicine, teaching and supervising residents in psychiatry in CBT.
He has also been a Clinical Associate for graduate psychology programs in CT, MA, and Puerto Rico. He has been a research psychologist at Yale’s Anxiety Disorders Research Clinic and has been involved in teaching and supervising programs for psychology research projects in the community.